Cowgirl Chocolates Assessment

Pages: 8 (2050 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Business

Cowgirl Chocolates

The company's marketing strategy must reflect the general strategy developed by the company's managers, but it must also be able to adapt to any modifications that might interfere with the company's environment and that might require strategy modifications.

The marketing strategy is one of the most important parts of the company's general strategy, given the fact that the marketing dimension of the product or service in case will determine the evolution of the product.

Marketing Challenge

Cowgirls Chocolates' owners must face several marketing challenges that must be resolved in order to maintain the company on the market, and to improve its position.

The most important marketing challenge is related to the promotional strategy and is represented by the fact that the ad that will be published in a magazine may not be suitable for the current situation of the company and for what the company's owners are trying to achieve with this commercial.

Another marketing challenge that the Cowgirls Owners must face is represented by their relationship with distributors. The company did not succeed at creating a well-functioning distribution chain.

Also, the company did not manage to create a loyal market segment that the company can count on in order to forecast sales for a given period of time. Even more, the company did not manage to convince certain retailers to accept its products.

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Another challenge that must be addressed by the company's managers is represented by the product line. The company's owners are not satisfied with the evolution of the company and consider that expanding the range of products and services might help solve this problem.

Current Situation Analysis

Chocolate Market Trends

Like in the case of any market, the chocolate market is characterized by a series of trends that influence the buying behavior of consumers and the response of producers. It seems that the most important trend that currently affects the chocolate industry is represented by healthy chocolate

TOPIC: Assessment on Cowgirl Chocolates Assignment

(Confectionery News, 2007).

Healthy chocolate refers to a specific type of chocolate that is produced with healthy ingredients. In addition to this, producers strongly promote the healthy effects of cocoa.

Chocolate is even linked to the ageing process. This is because dark chocolate contains higher levels of cocoa, which means higher levels of antioxidants. Many producers improve their chocolate products by adding a series of ingredients intended to address several issues related to health and cosmetics.

Therefore, some of the most important producers have introduced various lines of products that consist in combination of chocolate with fruits associated with such issues.

Another important trend in the chocolate industry is represented by the increased consumption of luxury and premium chocolate. This means that an increased number of consumers is refining their taste in chocolate, orienting to more expensive products that can satisfy their taste.

This product segment is seen as a personal treat that reveals a certain social status of the consumer, like in the case of other luxury products. It is also a popular idea when it comes to gifts.

An interesting trend that characterizes the chocolate market is represented by ethical chocolate. This means that this type of chocolate is produced with ingredients provided from ethical sources, without exploiting farmers.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

The most important strength that Cowgirls Chocolates has is represented by the products themselves. The company addresses a niche market segment that is only addressed by few competitors. This is particularly useful on local level. In the area where Cowgirls Chocolates commercializes most of their products there are no other competitors for this type of chocolate.

Another important strength is represented by the high quality of the company's products. The numerous awards received by the company and its owners are proof of this situation. The fact that these products are of proven high quality will allow the company to practice medium to high prices for the products and to address customer segments with higher incomes, oriented towards premium types of chocolate.

The packaging of the company's products represents a strong point that Cowgirls Chocolates can count on. This is because the packaging appeals to customers, some of them being interested in offering these products as gifts to others.

Weaknesses

The most important weakness that the company must resolve consists in the fact that the owners did not manage to establish a distribution chain. They were unable to find suitable and reliable distributors that they could build a successful relationship with.

In addition to this, the company's owners did not manage to convince store chains to commercialize their products. In their battle with competitors, it is important for the company to present its products in as many locations as possible.

The financial situation is another weakness that the company must resolve. Although the owners handle the accounting and the financial aspects of the business, they cannot build a medium term and a long-term financial strategy because their educational background does not allow them to do so.

Opportunities

Given the fact that the chocolate market is in continuous expansion, Cowgirls Chocolates could address this as an opportunity that can be exploited. Although there are numerous players on this market, the company can gain significant market share on local level.

The fact that consumer are more and more oriented towards healthier types of chocolate, and ethical ones, can become an opportunity for Cowgirls Chocolates if promoted correctly.

The company also has the opportunity of expanding its range of products in order to attract a larger number of customers.

Threats

The most important threat to Cowgirls Chocolates is represented by the company's competitors. There are numerous manufacturers in this industry, smaller or bigger players.

Smaller players are able to gain important market share on a smaller, local level, while bigger players are able to address the national or the international market. They have significant production capacity, financial power, and strong distribution chains, in comparison with Cowgirls Chocolates.

Marketing Strategies

There are several types of strategies that the company can develop and implement in order to recover from the current situation and to become profitable.

For example, the company could continue as a niche producer and develop a niche strategy. Many companies prefer not to use a niche strategy because this means narrowed sales, and profit margins

. But such a strategy would actually empower Cowgirls Chocolates. This is because it would be easier for the company to directly allocate its financial resources to the exact areas that require them.

When dealing with a niche producer, the strategy can be somewhat simpler to achieve. This is because the strategy can only focus on few elements. This is easier for both the company and its customers. This way, customers must have only a few elements of the company in mind, which will make it easier for them to remember these elements.

Also, a niche strategy can be focused on Internet marketing mainly. This can help the company reduce its marketing costs, while directly reaching the targeted customer segment.

The main advantage of this strategy is represented by the reduced costs it requires. Also, the efforts of the company for implementing such a strategy are minimal. The disadvantage of a niche strategy consists in the fact that a niche position in the marketing industry would be insufficient on medium term and on long-term.

A different strategy that can be implemented by the company refers to product differentiation. This strategy is also suitable for Cowgirls Chocolates because of the type of products the company commercializes. Given the fact that there are not many spicy chocolate producers, the company can create competitive advantage by introducing a high quality product like spicy chocolate.

Such a competitive advantage can become a sustainable one, helping the company gain significant market share on local level at least. Furthermore, the company can expand the business on national scale.

The advantage of this strategy is represented by the fact that the company can develop a sustainable position based on competitive advantage. The main disadvantage is represented by the fact that the costs are higher.

Another marketing strategy that Cowgirls Chocolates should take into consideration is represented by diversification. This type of strategy can be suitable for the company's situation and for the type of customers that the company intends to address.

Diversity is an issue that characterizes different types of markets, and the chocolate market makes no exception. Consumers have various preferences in terms of chocolate, and the company should be able to address several of these preferences.

This way, the company can develop a base of loyal customers. If the company continues to diversify its range of products and services, the number of customers will increase, leading to increased sales.

The main advantage is that this strategy would help Cowgirls Chocolates reach a larger audience. The disadvantage is that this objective can be reached with significant financial resources.

Recommendations

It is recommended that Cowgirls Chocolates develop and implement a niche strategy for the moment, given the reduced costs such a strategy requires. However, there are several issues that… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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